It is estimated that Nigeria lost over N8.7trillion at N758/$ between January and August because of the country’s inability to meet its crude quota allocated by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.
A review of data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, and the monthly statistics from OPEC by Daily Trust showed that while about 1.8 million barrels per day was allocated, amounting to 432million barrels for the eight-month period, it only managed to produce 288million barrels, amounting to N17.5trillion in earning at an average of $80 per barrel.
The revelation is coming amid a deeper debt crisis, with experts calling on the federal government to take urgent steps to boost revenue by taming oil theft.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, failed to drill 144 million barrels of crude oil within the period under review compared to the quota allocated to the country by OPEC.
The 13-member OPEC group distributes oil production quotas to its members based on market conditions to ensure price and supply stability in the global oil market.
Nigeria’s share of that quota was 1.8 million barrels per day for the better part of this period.
Oil prices peaked at $82 per barrel in January, dropped to $70 in March and is currently at $92 per barrel, compelling the use of $80 per barrel average price.
The total production indicates a monthly average of 1.2 million barrels per day.
For over two years, Nigeria has been unable to meet its OPEC production quota, citing oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta as root causes.
But in the second half of last year, just before production fell to a historic 900,000 barrels per day, the government, in collaboration with local security groups, took steps to curb the menace.
The development led to the significant increase in Nigeria’s production to 1.3million barrels per day in February.